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American Champion confirms new model comingAmerican Champion confirms new model coming

The lead airplane pictured is an American Champion 7GCAA Ultimate Adventure. AOPA file photo.

Yes, new airplanes cost a lot. They have always cost a lot. But American Champion is trying to do something about it. While it won’t be announced this year, the company is bringing back what used to be the Ultimate Adventure 7GCAA, a tailwheel tandem-seat aerobatic-capable model, and stripping off the expensive stuff. But it’s leaving the big engine.

Originally the Ultimate Adventure had a Superior 180-horsepower engine. If it’s not too expensive, that’s what the new 7GCAA will have. There’s no word on what the marketing name will be for the $160,000 airplane, but the company has confirmed the model will emerge possibly by next year’s Sun 'n Fun at Lakeland, Florida. Even then it won’t merit a big announcement, just a quiet introduction if it makes it by then.

It will be sold factory direct to keep the cost low and come with just the basics, a communications radio and a transponder. For navigation, you are on your own, but in the age of iPads in the cockpit and amazingly capable apps you aren’t likely to get lost. The app software is quite nimble, offering a new set of capabilities overnight, meaning you don’t have a dedicated navigation radio that must be replaced to get new capabilities.

The target price is $155,000 to $160,000. It will be capable of flight in visual meteorological conditions either day or night, and don’t forget, most American Champion models except the little Champ and the utility-oriented Scout are aerobatic capable. This one is mildly aerobatic and can take plus 5Gs and minus 2Gs. That’s not saying you want to do wild gyroscopic maneuvers, but maybe it’s time to learn just how easy it is to recover if your aircraft is ever thrown inverted by turbulence. And a loop is fun to learn if you are so inclined. For now the model will be built to test the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.”

In the meantime, American Champion is seeing owners join in the rebuilding movement. There are three at the factory to be rebuilt to the frame right now.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.
Topics: Taildragger, Single Engine

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